My favorite birthday cake recipe is a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and this chocolate banana cake is this year’s winner. Honestly it tastes almost like a chocolate banana nutter butter cookie!!
A super moist one layer cake rich with banana flavor accompanied by nutty notes of browned butter. The perfect amount of peanut butter chocolate frosting, sweetened with honey instead of confectioner’s sugar. You’ll definitely need lots of milk, or champagne if it’s a birthday party to wash down a couple of delectable slices.
What makes this Chocolate Banana Cake so wonderful?
- Ripe bananas are the key ingredient for anything baked with banana flavor. But, I decided to add a little bit of banana pudding mix to the batter for a little extra oomph. You don’t need a lot, just a tablespoon to add moisture and more flavor to this rich banana cake. Just make sure you aren’t using the instant powder mix.
- Next, is the addition of browned butter. The nutty profile that comes from brown butter is the perfect compliment to peanut butter chocolate frosting.
- To top it off, I sweetened my frosting with honey instead of loads of confectioner’s sugar. Yep, no butter either. Just creamy peanut butter, fresh sourwood honey, and dutch processed cocoa powder for a not too sweet topping.
Tips for Recipe Success!
- Use a deep cheesecake spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Make sure to use over ripened bananas for great flavor.
- Brown the butter first, so it has time to cool before mixing it into your batter.
- Don’t over mix the batter. Blend the ingredients until everything is incorporated and then stop.
- Let the cake cool completely in the pan, on a wire rack before turning it out onto a serving dish.
- When you make the chocolate peanut butter frosting choose a ‘no stir’ creamy peanut butter brand.
- Pick your favorite type of honey. I like sourwood, but there are so many to choose from!
- Stir the peanut butter and honey together first with a spatula. Then, sift the cocoa powder on top. Stir again, before adding the heavy cream. It will now be pretty thick, so I use a hand held mixer to blend until its spreadable. You can always add an extra tablespoon of heavy cream if needed to thin it out.
How to Store Your Cake
Place the frosted banana cake whole or cut into slices in an air tight container at room temperature. It should stay fresh for 5-7 days. You can also store the un-frosted cake wrapped in plastic wrap or an air tight container in the fridge for a few days longer.
I suggest if you are making the cake ahead of time, wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap at room temperature and then make the frosting before serving.
To freeze the un-frosted cake, cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 1 month of freshness. Defrost completely and add frosting before slicing.
More Banana Recipes to Try!!
- Chocolate Oatmeal Banana Bread
- Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Moist Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Espresso Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
Chocolate Banana Cake
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter browned and cooled
- 3 cups (375 g) all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon banana pudding mix powder (NOT instant)
- ¾ cup (150 g) Dark Brown Sugar
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs lightly beaten, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups (450 g) ripened bananas mashed (about 3 bananas)
- 1 ½ cups (360 g) whole milk room temperature
Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting
- ¾ cup (180 g) creamy peanut butter
- ⅔ cup (226 g) sourwood honey
- ⅓ cup (40 g) dutch processed cocoa powder sifted
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream more if needed
- Preheat the oven to 325 F ( 160 C) and prepare a 9×3 inch spring form pan with a light coating of baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- First, make the browned butter. Slice butter into chunks and place them into a medium skillet on medium heat. Allow butter to melt and cook through a foamy stage until fragrant. The butter will be an amber brown with dark brown speckles. Instantly remove from the heat and pour bitter into a heat proof bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl hand whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and banana pudding powder. Set aside.
- Using a separate large bowl, stir together dark brown sugar, sugar, brown butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the mashed bananas and stir until evenly distributed.
- Spoon in half of ⅓ of the flour mixture and pour in ½ cup of the milk. Using a hand held mixer on medium low speed, mix until incorporated. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed to grab any ingredients stuck to bowl.
- Spoon batter into the prepared baking pan and center on the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake cake for 60 minutes to 1 hr and 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a few crumbs.
- Place pan on a wire rack to completely cool before removing.
- Transfer cake to serving dish and make the frosting.
- Using a medium bowl stir together peanut butter and honey until smooth. Sift cocoa powder over top and add the heavy cream. Using a hand mixer on medium low speed, blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon of heavy cream if needed for a thinner frosting.
- Spread frosting across banana cake, slice and serve.